Month: January 2011

Don’t eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognise as food.

I was listening to a talk the other day on ‘being wrong’. Throughout the lecture the speaker argued that we should all learn to accept when we are wrong and to admit it. It all sounded quite sensible, but as I’ve never been wrong I’m not entirely sure that she was referring to people like me. However, it did get me thinking and I’d definitely like to be more thankful. Or, more to the point – to say ‘thanks’ more.

I don’t mean ‘thanks’ in a ‘please, thank you, thank you, please …sorry-thanks’ kind of British way, but in a straight-up ‘thank you, I really appreciate it/you’ kinda way. I’m genuinely quite a grateful person (and easily pleased) so hopefully it won’t be too difficult …let’s see how I get on.

Thank you for reading this.

Oh, but please be warned – I might balance this with some uncharacteristic straight-talking when I’m least thankful. Mr Postman, you have been warned! Three week late Christmas cards don’t tickle my funny bone. People who sit in the middle lane of the motorway, I’m not very happy with you either…

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Never eat anything that’s bigger than your head

I was pleasantly surprised recently when I saw that Gomez were still going strong. I think they recorded their first album at Primary School, so they’re probably only about 18 now… anyway, they’re good

and for the record, so are the Guilimots. I’ve no idea how I discovered these in Ukraine…

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“The presentation of Europe in Britain has been a tissue of white lies, woven by one gutless government after another in the hope of not frightening the electorate”

It’s 8 years old and every bit still as relevant:

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2011. I will not update my Facebook status …not even once

So, this time last year I was writing about extreme snow in Moldova, a long Christmas-day bus journey, friendly Romanian tramps, smelly woolen socks and a completely ridiculous journey home from the Carpathian mountains in Ukraine.  (Read “My stick promised so much…” for a reminder)

Can I beat that this year?  Probably not, but for the sake on continuity and because of a self-imposed duty to this blog I’m gonna sit here and type a very sketchy, rose tinted and no doubt opinionated review of the year that was 2011. It all started when, after the three-day journey home, I awoke in a sleepy daze in Oxford…

The End.

OK, so there was more too it than that.

Despite being employed full-time in Ukraine, I somehow managed to bounce around quite a lot in 2011. Beginning and ending in the UK, I managed to live in Ukraine and explore Finland, Moldova (twice), Belgium (many times), France (too many times), Slovenia (not enough times) and the Czech Republic once. I lived like a king for two weeks in a massive French mansion in April/May, and spent an incredible (and insanely hot) summer in Ukraine before returning for a busy but fun Christmas at home in Oxford. In fact, in a reversal of last years Christmas in Moldova, this year Moldova came to celebrate in Oxford and Cristina arrived a long with a Moldovan sized snow storm!

It was fun.

to be continued…


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“I saw the movie, ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and was surprised because I didn’t see any tigers or dragons. And then I realized why: they’re crouching and hidden.”

  — Steve Martin

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